The Under-the-Influence Guide to Friendship

Illustration for article titled The Under-the-Influence Guide to Friendship

Friends can be a lot like drugs...sort of. Or maybe drugs are like friends? Listen, all I know is that I just came out of a lengthy Ambien haze and, while I was out, my hair somehow got french braided and I managed to play a few rounds of MASH so whether friends are like drugs or drugs are like friends — again, I don't know — is up for debate. The point, however, is that sometimes, friends, like drugs, can be a lot of fun, expand your consciousness and, in the worst of scenarios, be terribly harmful to your well-being. And like with drugs, different friends take different tolls on you, whether it's that they slow you down, make you act like an asshole or ruin your life.


But how can you tell which friends are just good fun and which friends should get you sent to friend rehab? Easy. We'll tell you.

Your friend is weed.

This unmotivated friend is pretty harmless, just so long as she doesn't consume your whole life or infect you with her own lack of ambition. She's great to unwind with and is always good for a laugh, but your plans to do anything more than that always fall through. After an hour or so of hanging out together, you usually decide that you'd rather just order Buffalo wings and watch a Degrassi marathon than go out on the town. No high heels or non-elastic waistbands for the two of you. When you hang out, it's couch attire only.

There are very few reasons to get rid of this friend. Just make sure to take her out of your pocket when your mom washes your jeans.

Your friend is cocaine.

This friend is high energy and a lot of fun, but only for a very short amount of time, after which she becomes insufferable and possibly destructive. When talking to her, she's able to make you feel engaged and engaging, like maybe this is the best conversation you've ever had in your entire life and yet, when reflecting upon the discussion the next day, you realize that you were actually just yammering on and on about the dumbest shit ever. Yes, in retrospect you will view every interaction with her as absolutely humiliating and vow to never talk to her again. Regardless, a few months later will find you crammed up with her at a party, enthusiastically confessing about the time you had a sex dream about your step brother and how you feel so good finally getting a chance to talk about it with someone.

Don't be fooled. This friend is a total crazy asshole who will make you feel good for a total of 20 minutes before leaving you feeling suddenly suicidal. In spite of this, people at parties always want her around. P.S. Her politics are super fucked up.

You probably should not be friends with this person. She will rub off on you and make you a jerk, too.


Your friend is MDMA.

This friend can be the best. When you are around her, she always makes a point to tell you how beautiful and smart you are. She encourages you to dance and make as many friends as possible. When hanging out, she helps you see the world in a more colorful and perhaps even magical way. She is the Manic Pixie Dream Girl of friends in that she makes you appreciate yourself and your life in a way that you didn't think was possible, but then, quite suddenly, she's gone and you have to learn how to live again without her. Either that or she suddenly changes and becomes desperately depressed and ready to bring you down with her. And bring you down she will.


This is a friend you want to hangout with only once or twice a year. Keep her at a distance. Be aware of what's happening when she's around. Don't let her talk you into wearing face paint or thinking that dubstep is actually pretty cool. All this leads to is some embarrassing photos of the two of you acting stupid at Ultra.

Your friend is meth.

This friend is fucking crazy and will tear your life apart. Don't believe me? Her parents exploded while making her and she once talked Helen Hunt into jumping out of a third floor window.


Stay away. It's best she's left hanging out with your distant cousins or those weirdos you went to high school with.

Your friend is heroin.

Your heroin friend is the friend that you get dangerously obsessed with — like to the point where you might be in love with her, only it's the shitty kind of love that makes you give up everything, move to the street and buy (read: steal) a very sad looking pitbull who sits besides you as you alternate between panhandling and calling pedestrians cunts. She will convince you to stop eating and might, at some point, lure you into a sleep only to murder you. This will make the friends from your old life very sad.


All that said, he or she will inspire some very groovy songs.

Your friend is laudanum.

Congrats! You're friends with a 19th century ghost! Spoooooooooky.

Your friend is alcohol.

Maybe you have a healthy relationship with this person. Maybe you don't. Best case scenario — having this friend around makes you feel much more confident while singing karaoke. Worst case scenario, they keep grabbing your steering wheel as you drive and cause you to commit vehicular manslaughter. BE CAREFUL.


Your friend is sizzurp.

I dunno — this person is a mess, but also knows Lil Wayne, which is pretty cool when playing a game of "Six Degrees of Separation."


Image via Timurpix/Shutterstock.



Your friend is Growing Up and Feeling Your Feelings. That's the friend I'm still trying to make. Until then, I'm hanging out with High Calorie Snacks and Too Much Red Wine.